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​What You Need To Start A Business
A busy street 

Certain businesses need a licence to operate. Before opening any business find out what the requirements are. You may not begin trading in a business that requires a licence before the licences has been issued. Trading without a valid licence is punishable with a fine of up to R2 000. Licensing is governed by the Business Act No 71 of 1991. 

​Businesses that need a licence
If you are running any of the following businesses, you will need to apply for a licence. Please see Schedule 1 of the Business Act 71 of 1991 for details.

Food provision
You need a licence to sell or supply meals, take-aways or perishable foodstuff.

Health and entertainment facilities
You need a licence for:

  • Turkish baths, saunas and health baths;
  • massage or infra-red treatments
  • male and female escorts;
  • three or more slot machines and electronic games;three or more snooker or billiard tables;
  • nightclubs and discotheques, where live or loud music is played;
  • cinemas and theatres; and
  • adult premises.

General information

More information on getting a trade licence in Johannesburg, including the procedure and cost involved.

​What You Need To Start A Business